Managing Director, RocheMartin
Tonight I saw the WestEnd production Chariots of Fire.
For Gen X and Y who may have missed the movie - it’s the true story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.
It was nominated for 7 Academy Awards and won 4, including Best Picture.
The title is inspired by line, "Bring me my chariot of fire," from William Blake's poem but the original phrase "chariot(s) of fire" is, of course from the Bible and was the vehicle that transported the prophet Elijah to paradise.
When Eric Liddell accidentally misses a church prayer meeting because of his running, his devout sister Jenni disapproves of Liddell's plans to pursue competitive running and accuses him of no longer caring about God.
Eric tells her that though he intends to eventually return to the China mission, but that he feels divinely inspired when he runs, and that not to run would be to dishonour God: "I believe that God made me for a purpose. But he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure."
Liddell goes on to win the 400 meters and Abrahams goes on to win the 100 meters.
The story of both athletes remind us of the power of personal belief and what we’re all capable of when we tap into the things that we really care about and believe in and stay true to our core values. It also reminds us that it’s when we’re clear about our own chariot of fire that we’ve got the best chance of being transported to those moments when we're at our best, our own paradise.